DEAR FARMKETEER: Please say apple. Out loud. A few more times: apple, apple, apple. If there is someone who can hear you, no problem, it might start a conversation. If you are alone, even better, let the word-apples bounce off the walls and back into your own ears. Now you are ready for today’s sermon.
“It is not with the lyre of someone in love that I go seducing people. The rattle of the leper is what sings in my hands.” That’s Farmer Steve wearing a baby hat, reciting the great poet Anna Akhmatova. Sheesh. Some people really know how to put heavy thoughts into words.
Liberty – Another heavy thought packed into a word. “Give me Liberty or give me death!” shouted Patrick Henry. “Liberty or Death” says the Greek national motto. Whether you are rebelling against the British, the Ottomans, or just your own inner hegemond, come pick Liberty apples now. They are a 1978 cross between Macoun and a secret Malus floribunda variety. Take your Liberties now in Row 15.
Fortune – Another whopper of an idea. A heavy concept. Is bigger better? Is more ever enough? Fortunes are positively gargantuan this year. Abundant rain. Crispy and chunky. A touch of spice. A cross between Empire and Schoharie Spy. Think about that: empire + spy = fortune. Deep and dark stuff! Find your Fortunes now in Row 15.
Snowsweet – Not as deep sounding. A mild-mannered, cold-hardy variety from Minnesota. Possibly Lutheran. Generation Z, born in 2006. A hybrid of Sharon apples and Connell Red. Described as “sweet, tart, and almost buttery” by the university’s Office for Technology Commercialization. Hmm, maybe a heavy thought after all. The apple as technology. And what does “almost” buttery mean? Very suspicious! Pick Snowsweet now in Row 15.
Jonagold – Born in ’43. Doesn’t get much heavier than that. Were its parents honorable or deplorable during the war? Does it inherit the best characteristics from its parents Jonathan and Golden Delicious? Come decide for yourself. Pick Jonagold now in Row 16.
Cortland – Our hometown apple? There is no apple called Ithaca or Route 96 or Indian Creek. There is an apple named King of Tompkins County, but we reject tyrants! And it is from New Jersey. So Cortland is probably our homie. A child of McIntosh and Ben Davis, crossed in 1898 at the Cornell Geneva Agricultural Experiment Station. “The flavor is tart and tangy, but not emphatically so, and juicy to the point of messiness,” writes Apples author Roger Yepsen. Pick Cortland in the Vintage Orchard (yellow ribbons).
“I daresay this is the best corn of the year,” texted Farmer Dusky. A bold claim from a corn rookie who has produced seriously supersweet ears already this season. Attention, folks! This is the last great wave of corn for 2017. Load up on 2 dozen ears for only $10.
Bravo, you’ve picked all the pears. Speaking of pears, this pair is doing an exemplary job. Jessi Hersh and Stephan Herard, our donut models of the week, are demonstrating the bite-size nature of the donuts. We received two Facebook complaints, out of thousands of donut lovers served, that these should be marketed as donut HOLES. Problem is, these would-be donut holes have holes IN THEM. So you see our reluctance to create a new class of topological object, a hole with a hole. Way above our math certification. Served Saturday and Sunday 10 AM to 6 PM.
At long last, hot nights have brought the tomatoes around! Your brisk picking had kept up with the ripening, but this week we’ve seen a BOOM. Please come scour the tomato field for beefsteak, heirloom, Roma, San Marzano, and cherries. First come, first get! These could be the last wave. Mama Weather could again flex her muscles any day now. DO NOT WAIT-O IF YOU WANT A TOMATO!
The eggplants continue. You’ve picked the really big classics, but please keep sweeping the field clean of Italian, Japanese, and fairy tales. Stir fry magic. Pickle em, too.
Pepper fans have shown great patience. The heat is finally bringing out some yellows, oranges, and even reds in the hot peppers. The bells, meanwhile, are chiming quieter and quieter. So please sweep the field for poblano, cayenne, jalapeño, serrano, habanero, and chilis, while keeping low expectations about the green, purple, and Italian sweets.
Farmketeers of the Week: The Stewarts and Entwoods. This double family outing caught our eye. It was a momentary realization of our long-held ethos that The ‘Creek is like a state park with no entrance fee. Come up, have a picnic, hang out, we won’t boss you around. These lovely people were just sitting in the orchard grass talking and chuckling. Good living. Thank you for playing the game right! Go Team S&E!
Pick your own pumpkins. Some of you will fight it. It’s not time yet! If we all just shut up about autumn maybe it will forget to come! Farm fans, this weekend is October. These pumpkins won’t hurt you. They’ve been waiting for you since spring. Nothing can stop the clock.
Apple Harvest Festival. We will have our booth down there for the long weekend. You can find us in the middle of the chaos. But we will look forward to seeing many of you at the farm, too. You can have all the elbow room you want up here. Note that the slushee machine will go down to the Commons for the weekend. Donut machine stays on the farm.
Donuts with holes. At least SOME of them have holes. Some of them collapse in upon themselves. (As it is with people, so it is with donuts.) They are smallish donuts, to be sure. Wee sweet bites. The pokey little machine is called “Li’l Orbits” and isn’t that cute? And aren’t they made with fresh apple cider pressed here on the farm? And aren’t they humble fried toroids of dough smothered in cinnamon sugar? And isn’t that okay for now? Hope to see you at The ‘Creek.